Luke Rockhold has quickly established himself as a legitimate threat in the UFC’s middleweight division after another dominant effort at UFC 172. The former Strikeforce champion made it back-to-back first round finishes, as he submitted rugged veteran Tim Boetsch at the 2:08 mark of their main card battle in Baltimore.
Boetsch came out aggressive to start, but saw the tide turn against him when he went for a single leg takedown of his opponent. Rockhold quickly transitioned into an inverted triangle and held Boetsch in an uncomfortable position until he was able to lock in a fight finishing kimura. Rockhold is now 2-1 in his Octagon career, and has his sights set on a rematch against top-contender Vitor Belfort. “The Phenom” provided a rude UFC welcome for Rockhold by finishing him in the first round of their fight in Brazil.
Rockhold improved to 12-2 with the victory, and now has 10 finishes by knockout or submission. He’s bound to improve upon his No. 5 ranking, and is clearly a win or two away from landing a title opportunity. He owns career victories over Tim Kennedy and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
If matchmakers decide against opting for a Belfort rematch, Rockhold could also be in line for a possible grudge match against Michael Bisping. The two have traded barbs in recent years, although “The Count’s” stock took a serious hit with his recent decision loss to Kennedy at the TUF Nations finale.
As for Boetsch, it appears as though his days of being a threat in the 185-pound weight division are over. “The Barbarian” is just 1-3 in his last four fights, with that lone victory being a controversial decision win over C.B. Dollaway at UFC 166.